Zinoviy Rovner

Zinoviy Rovner

Born September 6th 1925 in Kiev, Ukraine

Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario

Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class) and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War

Junior Sergeant, Radio Operator in Artillery Unit. Fought Against Japan In Liberation Of North Korea

“The situation was so tense that we expected a Japanese offensive at any time.”

Zinvoly was drafted in 1943 and sent to eastern Russia immediately after training. When the Soviets declared war on Japan in 1945, he was sent to Korea:

“As the battery gun were on horse traction we weren’t allowed to sit on gun’s boxes, only the “coach” was allowed to be in the coachman’s seat. We quickly marched 40 to 60 kilometers a day We were on the go all the time dislodging the enemy from the hills and weapon emplacements. That’s what the war was like. We liberated the North Korean territory from the Japanese occupants.”

Zinvoly carried a gun but did not fire mortars:

“I was to provide communication between the battery command and the weapon placements. The battery was in one location; the battery commander was defining the target at an observation post in another location. The battery was firing while we were adjusting the fire, doing the spotting for mortars. Personally… that was just a normal, a regular military service, making sure the enemy would be defeated”.

After the war, Zinoviy spent 5 more years in the army. He encountered numerous cases of institutional antisemitism in Ukraine while trying to finish school and eventually immigrated to Canada.